CAMp CookInG warm up to sriracha sauce
WEARY FROM INJURY, MACCA FINDS WARM COMFORT IN SRIRACHA CHILLI SAUCE.
You know how we all skip through life with nary a worry? You know what I mean: like, you get up, you get dressed and you go about your daily things. Occasionally, you might come down with a cold or your partner chips a nail or the dog throws up in the car on the way to the beach. Just normal stuff!
Then there’s the stuff that makes us who we are and shapes us and our lives forever and the stuff that just happens to other people. I’m not talking about catastrophic things but just normal stuff, like minor car crashes, jobs going west or money problems. Someone else is always worse off than you.
I’ve spent enough time listening to mates and acquaintances in pubs across this wide brown land to have had my fair share of bent ears, and while I sympathise and show empathy, it’s still usually someone else’s problem.
Then ‘it’ happened to me.
It was Christmas Eve and I was working far away from my base, on an island on the Buccaneer Archipelago near the Horizontal Waterfall north of Derby in Western Australia. And there was a storm of some monumental proportions going on that night. It was the remnants of a tropical cyclone that was now just a monsoonal low, and it wasn’t in the mood for Christmas Cheer. It was more like Christmas jeer.
Scurrying to the bathroom for a midnight comfort break, I took a dive and hurt my foot. Now, not being an expert in broken feet nor ever having had one, I thought I’d just sprained my ankle.
Christmas day arrived and I got on with cooking lunch for 20 people. And, to keep up the concentration needed to complete my work, I swallowed my fair share of pain killers.
I hobbled around for the next three days until I had trouble putting on my boot because of the swelling, I finally strapped it up and made plans to see a doctor once I got back to Broome.
It turned out to be broken, and that’s when my world disintegrated. Now, I am male, and while I’ve never been through childbirth or other minor facts of life, this was a major calamity.
And because it was confirmed as being a proper fracture, the pain went up about ten-fold, and I became completely incapable of doing anything, or even caring for myself.
I had caught the pity train and it was an express service to the station called ‘pathetic wallower’.
Suddenly, I was incapable of understanding why no-one else was interested in my plight. The grotesque immobilisation boot I had to wear and the fact that I was clearly disabled didn’t seem to stop people from going about their own business, with hardly a sideways glance at the poor pathetic individual I had become.
And because I took a dive in the toilet block, it wasn’t even a sexy way to break something. I mean, it wasn’t as if I’d dragged someone out of a burning building and broken it doing so. I slipped in the bathroom, for goodness sake!
It has been a great lesson for me. First, I learned that I’m a hopeless patient. I have little tolerance for pain, and if you’re looking for sympathy, don’t break your foot in the dunny.
But, in spite of my condition, it did give me a little bit of time to experiment with a couple of new recipes, and with the Asian influence that can be so readily found in Broome, I’ve become rather addicted to Sriracha chilli sauce. It adds great flavour to Asian-inspired dishes and gives you that little glow when you eat it.